By Woodrow Polston
On a sunny afternoon last week, members of St. John Lutheran Church of Vandalia visited the Tri-County Care Center on Galloway Road. They were participating in the Lutheran Church Missouri District 2022 statewide servant event called “Shine.”
More than 8,000 participants had signed up to take part in the events beginning on April 22 through May 1. The group said that the name of the outreach event represents scripture from Matthew 5:16, which states, “Let your light shine before others,” and is a good opportunity to serve the community. Rev. Bill Geis, of the St. Louis District office, who was there to assist local members, said that it was the second year for the outreach.
“This was the second year that we have done this,” said Geis. “This is an amazing opportunity to encourage people, and to reach out and help take care of people,” he added.
The St. John Lutheran Women’s Guild decorated wreaths for the residents of Tri-County Care Center and were there to distribute the wreaths throughout the facility. Karen Morris said that the wreaths were put together and decorated in Vandalia.
“We decorated the wreaths at St. John’s here on Main Street,” said Morris. “We have this project going on today, and we have another one coming up soon. We will be at the elementary school for teacher and staff appreciation day. On May 5, we will be there at 6:45 in the morning to serve breakfast and greet the staff between 7 and 8 a.m,” she added.
In April of 2021, the Shine event had more than 130 groups including more than 5,000 people who were involved with the outreach effort in their communities. The Lutheran Church Extension Fund was the lead sponsor for the outreach events. Rod’s Sports and Apparel provided green T-shirts with the word “Shine” on them for all of the participants to wear during the event.
Across Missouri, Lutheran Church members participating in the Shine outreach have impacted their communities in a variety of different events. Members in St. Charles made care packages for military members and provided blankets for an animal shelter. In Farmington, members conducted an extensive landscaping project. In St. Joseph, members volunteered at a local thrift shop that assists area homeless individuals and families that are in need.
According to their website, “The Missouri District-LCMS mission is to serve and encourage congregations to fulfill the Great Commission and promote unity of the true faith. The vision is of congregations partnering as one church united in doctrine ready, equipped and acting to fulfill the Great Commission in their unique setting with their unique gifts.”
To learn more about the Lutheran Church, you may visit them online at mo.lcms.org.